Preparing for the Holidays | featuring Hallmark

I know, I know... it's not even Thanksgiving yet, and here I am talking about Christmas! Well this post truly covers both. I know how busy and hectic the holidays can get; roadtrips to visit family, Christmas shopping, home decorating, and not to mention all the regular to-do's. So, in an attempt to be better prepared this year, I partnered with Hallmark, to share my short list with you!

1. Relax. Yes, I know this one seems obvious, but let's get real - it is the hardest one to do! Some of the ways I like to unwind are by reading, vegging out on Netflix, taking bubble baths with a LUSH Bath Bomb (yes, please), reading, drinking some tea, or of course by eating chocolate. Because chocolate makes everything better. I found this Crafters & Co. peppermint bark at Hallmark and Elisha and I seriously can't stop eating it - it's like Christmas in your mouth!

2. Start your shopping NOW. As often as I set out to do this, most years I find myself running from store to store, like the two days before Christmas. Be intentional with your time, and it'll allow you to be more thoughtful in your giftgiving. Sometimes ordering online can take longer than expected, so getting a head start will definitely work in your favor. If you need a quick gift idea, I found this sweet sweatered Mug at Hallmark the other day. I bought it for myself, but this would make an easy gift for a friend, teacher, or even as a stocking stuffer!

3. Make a list. Lists always give me the perspective I need. sometimes we feel like we have a million things to do, but if we write them out, we can see that we actually have 20, very reasonable tasks to accomplish. Make a list of to do's and don't forget to make a wishlist too!

4. Create a schedule, and stick to it. As much as I love my lists, I love my planner even more! I wear a lot of hats, as I'm sure you do too, so it is very easy to forget or overplan if I don't write it all out. Be sure to schedule in the big events, but also make certain you write out time to relax, and stick to it! Your well being is important!

You've got this ladies!! And if all else fails, just sit on the couch and sip some tea - I promise, it'll all get done! I shared this short video on YouTube too, if you'd like to take a peek! 

xo. Mel

L E W E D :: Bridal Shower

My bridesmaids threw me the perfect Bridal Shower this weekend! I was so excited to share such a special day with ladies I love. We sipped a variety of teas and each girl got to keep her cup and plate as a gift! They interviewed Elisha and had him answer questions that they then asked me. Most of our answers were pretty spot on and some of them were just ridiculous. It's a pretty great feeling knowing the man you're about to marry knows you so well... and still loves you! I love that we'll be able to share this video with our kiddos one day. 

Lately, (especially after this weekend) I have just felt so blessed by the incredible people that are in our lives. I was telling Elisha the other day, "we have a pretty cool life, huh?"To which he responded with a "yes!" It wasn't to brag or be prideful, but honestly a very humbling thought. I know that we have worked very hard, that we have been committed and obedient to where God has called us, but in the end, we are rarely deserving of the blessings He gives us. With each day, I learn that more and more.

We are now 37 days away and I couldn't be more excited!

xo. melisa

Footnote :: Photography by Kalli Carr

Music, Chai and Secrets

I know it's Tuesday, but it's time to share music people! This week I'd like to share a little number called Summer Girl, by Leighton Meester. Yes, I'm a fan. I know it's not her original song and it's from a terribly depressing movie, but it's just so dang catchy. My favorite is blaring it in my car with windows rolled down. Which leads me to my next point... I love Leighton not only for her catchy tune, but I do in fact love her because she plays Blair Waldorf in the ever so dramatic teenage soap opera, Gossip Girl. Yes, I watch that show; I avidly watch that show and I'm not ashamed. In fact, it comes back on September 26th and you better bet I'll be sitting in my living room with friends, watching it! I think I watch more "teen" shows than I do actual age appropriate television. Though I have not been a teen for four years, I think I'll always be one at heart. That's what they say anyways right? Like your body gets older, but you'll always feel young? Well there ya go, something you didn't know about me. So tell me, what's your guilty pleasure show?? Don't leave me hanging here, I know you watch something silly too!

Yesterday the Mister and I went to see Cowboys vs. Aliens; it was entertaining. Yep, that's my review, ha! I didn't hate it and I didn't love it, I was simply entertained for two hours, so go watch it and let me know if you agree. Now, since this is clearly my sharing post, have I mentioned how I drink tea now?? Well I do. I never ever liked tea until a few months ago when I was introduced to iced chai. I didn't really consider this tea because it tasted more like gingerbread and it was cold. However, I have since discovered a whole realm of tea that I can make taste good! This might sound crazy that I just discovered this, but give me a break, i'm not sure why, but just do it. I've purchased multiple flavors, a teapot and a pretty jar to hold it all in {pictures to come}. OH and sweet tea doesn't count, that's just pure magic in my mouth and though it's tea, it is at a completely other level than this tea; I've been drinking that for years. So there ya have it folks, I'm a tea drinkin, gossip girl watchin review givin gal. I always feel the need to sum things up, I apologize. There are more posts to come today. Exciting!